The oral cavity is a place which has the potential to harbor many organisms as it constantly engages in taking foods, which facilitate the presence of such organisms by providing the necessary environment. The most influencing factor which makes the oral cavity a haven for pathogenic bacteria is its hygiene.
For many decades, scientists have tried to identify a link between systemic diseases and oral health but, up to now, there hasn’t been any substantial evidence on a direct link. But, many theories have been hypothesized and were proven to be in existence in linking oral health as well as the systemic diseases, more often the heart diseases.
Some of the theories in existence which links the oral health and heart disease would be,
The pathogenic bacteria in the oral cavity, more specifically in persons with periodontal diseases, would be released to the blood stream via the exposed blood vessels in the oral cavity. These bacteria can be lodged in the coronary vessels and give rise to the formation of fatty plaques. The resulting narrowing as well as reduce nutrient flow towards the heart muscles can lead to ischemic events that result in heart attacks. Another theory is based on the inflammatory reactions that are caused by oral pathogens which could spread to the entire body and will affect the coronary vessels as well. The resulting swelling will give rise to heart disease due to the ischemic events. In another theory, pathogenic organism in the oral cavity will act as immune mediators by releasing toxins that are similar in characteristics to the blood vessel walls. The result would be, autoimmune reactions to the coronary vessel components and thus the occurrence of related disease.
What comes out of all these theories is the potential for an unhealthy oral cavity to be an initiator of heart disease. Therefore, maintaining adequate oral hygiene will prevent such events from taking place to a certain extent. Following are some of the measures that need to be taken to break the link between the oral cavity and the heart disease.
Brush the teeth at least twice a day or preferably after each meal and floss the residual content at least once a day. Make use of a suitable toothbrush which has to be replaced at least every two months. Rinse the mouth with water, each time you have something to eat, especially at times of acidic foods or foods which are sweetened or otherwise would adhere to the teeth or gums. See your dentist at least twice a year in order to prevent plaque formation and to reduce the build up of dental caries. If you already suffer from heart valve disease, you need to be on prophylactic antibiotics when undergoing procedures within the oral cavity. Treat oral infections aggressively for adequate number of days in order to prevent these organisms from infecting the cardiac system. Eat a healthy combination of fruits and vegetables, preferably in the raw form, to improve the oral health through natural means.
If a person practices good oral hygiene, the oral cavity will be devoid of food particles, acids, plaques which provide a culture medium, gum diseases…etc and thus reduces the presence of pathogenic bacteria which has the potential to affect the cardiac system.